Study Abroad: Tuition-Free** Countries to Know
Study Abroad Now!
By E. Wilson
The benefits of studying abroad for U.S. college students are countless. Students who take advantage of living abroad often come back more open-minded and employable. The chance to gain experience as a world citizen has become easier, especially for those who seek low-cost or free opportunities to study. In honesty, there is no such thing as a free** lunch. Many “tuition-free” countries such as Greece, Australia, Denmark, Brazil and others still charge additional costs for international, or non-European Union students. However, for those who are ambitious enough to venture abroad, there are some great deals offered in Europe and South America that will allow you to study at a quarter of the costs charged at domestic colleges.
Finland has been offering non-EU/EEA international students the chance to obtain a Bachelor’s or Doctoral level degree with no tuition fees for the past 4 years. Started as trial program funded by the Ministry of Education, many Finnish schools are predicted to continue tuition-free education starting Autumn 2014 after concluding the success of the program as an incentive. In exception, international students should expect to come out of pocket for living expenses, books, and other social service costs that is estimated to be anywhere between €700-900/month.
Though not entirely tuition-free, the opportunity to study in Austria for about €750/per semester is still a steal. International students who are exempt from tuition fees include those who enroll in a public Austrian college as part of a university partnership agreement with their home school. To see if your current university qualifies, visit the International Programs/Study Abroad office and ask about current contract agreements the school has with those overseas. Estimated costs of living and other expenses in Austria range between €800-900/month.
As a rule of the state, Norwegian state universities and colleges do not charge tuition for international students regardless of what level of degree program they intend to enroll in. Please note, there is an international student administrative fee of $50-100 USD per semester for studying in Norway and living expenses in the country are estimated around $15,000 USD a year.
There are currently 11 federal states in Germany that due not charge tuition from the first semester onwards. Other fees include on charged for administration of programs that falls around €50/per semester. Students who stay longer than 5 years will also have to pay higher administration costs.
Funded through state citizen taxes and highly subsidized by the government, undergraduate education at all Argentine public universities remains tuition free. All benefits aside, escalated crime in Argentina has turned many American students off from enrolling. Although, compared to the other opportunities listed above, the relatively low cost of living still in Argentina continues to drive the most bravest expatriates to the country. International students can expect to pay around $350-500 USD/month in living expenses, with around $10/week allocated to transportation.
Moving forward, consider whether or not you can afford the costs of living in another country. Make sure you have the necessary official documents (student visas, passport, vaccination reports, transcripts, etc) to qualify as well. Though many European countries use English as the standard in universities, be sure to access any language barriers you will have and how to overcome them. Begin meeting with a study abroad advisor to determine a preparation timeline to stay on track, and research the political and social climates of the country of your interest. Most importantly, if you intend to return to America, any foreign degree you receive needs to meets U.S. requirements for recognition. Know the qualifications and plan accordingly.